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Frank Whyte was the hero for Concord Rangers in the Essex Andrews Under 14s Cup Final, netting the only goal of the game to secure victory against Aveley.
His strike in first-half injury time proved sufficient to earn the silverware for the Beach Boys in a match of few clear opportunities at Aveley FC.
The opening ten minutes of the game began very evenly, with plenty of passing around in midfield. The first opportunity came from Concord as Kye Munro made an impressive run down the right wing and into the penalty area. He passed across the goal to Tashinga Zvirawa who struck at goal, but Aveley goalkeeper Alfie Thomas made a brilliant diving save to deny him.
It remained tight for the rest of the half, with both sides enjoying equal amounts of possession, though neither created many major opportunities until the final few minutes before half time, which were busy for Concord. They had a goal disallowed for offside on 34 minutes as a free kick from 35 yards was flicked on to Mack Polyblank, who had brought the ball down and poked into the net.
This chance gave Concord extra impetus though, and, in the first minute of additional time, they took the lead. The ball was passed from the left side across the box to Whyte, who had a made a great run down the right, and he side-footed into the net to give Rangers an interval lead.
It was a quiet second half, with the first chance coming after a further nine minutes. A pass from midfield towards Whyte enabled him to try his luck with a right-footed effort which went just over the bar. There followed another quiet window of play in the fixture where, again, both sides had possession but neither created any clear chances.
The last opportunity of the match came from Aveley with one minute of normal time remaining, as a shot from outside the box deflected off of Riley Sykes’ head. This forced the Concord goalkeeper to make a save, which was enough to compete the cup triumph.
Aveley: Jay Case, Harry Keeble, Tyler Fontaine-Harvey, Joshua Hoy-Drain, Henry Persechio, Jack Johnson, Alfie Rossiter, Harry Montague, Riley Prendergast, Daniel Banjoko, Irewolode Adepoju, Riley Sykes, Dawson King, Joshua-James Leach, Malachi Ojo, Michael Lawal, Cruise Aikhomum, Samuel Thompson, Alfie Jones, Zhayne Vassall.
Concord Rangers: Alfie Thomas, Samuel Daltrey, Mack Polyblank, Oliver Leworthy, Ellis Whittingham, Frank Whyte, Jack Tilbury, Kye Munro, Connor Brooks, Finley Apps, Kyan Webb, Ariel Akoman, Rahim Rajulawalla, Tashinga Zvirawa.
Referee: Amelia Barrett.
Assistant Referees: John Bryant and Alex Hodder.
Fourth Official: Glenn Baker.